The 2009 ASHRAE Student Design Competition, which encourages students to become more involved with their chosen major through practical design, saw its largest number of entries to date. The competition featured a 15,650-sq-ft office building with first-floor parking, second-floor retail and office space, and third-floor offices. Among the 32 schools that submitted entries, three stood out as first-place winners in the competition’s three categories.

First place in HVAC System Design was awarded to Craig Allen, Brian Sybesma, Chan Kim, William Raschefsky, and Elyse Widin of California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Their faculty advisor is Jesse Maddren, PhD.

The students chose a ground-source heat pump (GSHP) with an energy-recovery ventilation system for the building, citing benefits such as minimal energy use and long life span.

First place in HVAC System Selection was awarded to Kelly Griffith, James Newman, Phillip Podlasek, and Darren Rottinghaus of Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan. Their faculty advisors are Fred Hasler, PE, and Julia Keen, PE.

The students also selected a GSHP. Each heat pump was piped with a direct return loop rather than a reverse return loop to save on the amount of piping used. The GSHP also utilized variable-frequency drives to control the hydronic pump, decreasing energy consumption.

This year’s new Integrated Sustainable Building Design (ISBD) category encouraged collaboration between engineering and architectural students. Students who chose to participate in the ISBD category were asked to redesign an office building to their local climates to create a zero-energy building.

First place in this category was awarded to Troy White, Edward Wood, Jaime Gonsalves, and Ivan Fernandes of Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Their advisor is Filimon Tsionas.

The students designed an office building made of 5-percent recycled materials collected from on-site abandoned buildings. A solar wall, curtain windows, and chilled beams were utilized for heating and cooling. The building design also featured an open-concept atrium, which acted as a solar chimney to reduce the number of necessary ducts as well as the number of fans and energy needed to power them.